Saturday, October 06, 2007

Kalamazoo City Commission Election

The filing deadline has passed for the 2007 Kalamazoo City Commission Election. Eleven candidates are running for seven seats.

In Kalamazoo, all seven seats are up for election every two years. The top seven vote-getters become commissioners. The top vote-getter becomes mayor, the second-place finisher becomes vice-mayor.

In 2005, the top vote-getters in order were Hannah McKinney, Bobby Hopewell, Don Cooney, David Anderson, Mary Balkema, Barb Miller, and Sean McCann. Balkema resigned earlier this year to become Kalamazoo County Treasurer. She was replaced by David Jaurez, who elected commissioner in 2003, finishing seventh, and lost in 2005, finishing eighth. Juarez attacked the WMU College Republicans in 2005 for bringing Pat Buchanan to campus.

All the incumbent commissioners except Juarez are running for reelection. Five others are seeking a seat on the commission. They are Tammy Barnard, Aaron David, Angela Jackson, Stephanie Moore, and Brian Shaff. Moore is running with Cooney as the unofficial Green Party ticket. The politics of the others is unknown at this time.

Two homeless members of the radical Kalamazoo Homeless Action Network (KHAN), Angie Suarez and Jonathan Braun, announced their intention to run for the commission. However, they failed to collect the necessary fifty signatures, which doesn't say much for their leadership abilities.

Most of the current commissioners are probably pretty safe for reelection, though Sean McCann may be in some danger. It isn't immediately clear who of the others is most likely to win.

In this type of election, it may be rational for a voter to vote for fewer than seven candidates. This is because a vote for someone you prefer less could displace someone you prefer more.

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